Izzy Bizu brings back the summer with debut album
Pop critics in the UK were sure about one thing. 2016 would be a big year for Izzy Bizu. The upcoming British artist, born as Isobel Beardshaw, was nominated for the Critic’s Choice Award at the BRITS and was included in BBC’s longlist for The Sound of 2016. After a few delays she finally released her debut album titled A Moment of Madness this weekend. The result is an sunny mix of pop, soul, jazz and a little bit of funk.
This eclectic mix won’t come as a surprise to everyone who had the privilege to hear her most successful single to date, ‘White Tiger’. The track smoothly balances between an infectious pop chorus and some jazzy piano parts with Izzy’s soothing vocals as a binding element. On the record she experiments with a reggae sound on ‘Hello Crazy’ and the uptempo ‘Give Me Love’ was inspired by funk, while maintaining her summery brand of soulful pop from start to finish.
Bizu says to be inspired by a broad range of artists, including Ella Fitzgerald, James Brown and more recently Adele and Amy Winehouse. Although these influences are definitely hearable throughout the album, Izzy did not incorporate their often moody productions and songwriting. Whenever Izzy Bizu sings, the sun shines. Even on a less uplifting composition like single ‘Mad Behaviour’, her vocals still shine with hope and liveliness. This however does not mean she doesn’t slow down the pace at some point. ‘Circles’ is a beautiful ballad with a bright and gripping chorus that shows off the versatility of Bizu as a songwriter and performer.
In terms of single choices for this album, Izzy and her team have left out at least one obvious choice so far, but luckily it is not yet too late! The light and breezy ‘Skinny’, about how a man does not have to work out a lot to grab her attention, could be her biggest hit so far with the right push. It’s insanely catchy and balances perfectly between soul and pop. The same goes for ‘Naive Soul’, although this sounds more like something that would have set the charts on fire around 2008. A Moment of Madness was scheduled for a June release at first, which might have been better timing as this album is perfect as a soundtrack to summer, but now we can use this warm and optimistic debut to get through the soon arriving fall!
Must listen: White Tiger, Skinny, Naive Soul, Circles, Mad Behaviour